Appreciating special moments

Sometimes there are moments that make you appreciate that there really are still random acts of kindness that make our world a better place to live.

Sometimes there are moments that make you appreciate that there really are still random acts of kindness that make our world a better place to live.

Saturday I got to see one of those special moments at the Danville Wildcat Wearhouse during an autograph signing session by DeAndre Liggins, a starter on Kentucky's Final Four team last season.

It cost $15 to get an autograph — or more depending on what someone may have wanted to purchase to have autographed. One woman, who did not want to be identified, came into the store and bought a blue and white basketball she had Liggins autograph for her father. However, as she was preparing to leave, she noticed four youngsters that came into the store, left and came back again.

Soon it became obvious they did not have enough money to pay for autographs and some were going to have to leave without getting an autograph. That's when she approached the youngsters, briefly talked to them and then offered to spend the $50 it would take for an autograph package so all four could leave the store with Liggins' signature.

"There was no way I was going to let them walk out without an autograph," said the kind-hearted woman who never gave the youngsters her name. "I?am not rich, but I am fortunate to have a good job, my husband has a good job and we have a nice home. Whatever it takes to make those kids happy, that's what I?was going to do.

"I didn't know them. But that could have been me as a kid and I?know I?would have been heartbroken. I would be even now because I?love Kentucky basketball so much. What's $50? I can make that in two hours. What's two hours of my time worth compared to the happiness of those four kids?"

She insisted on remaining anonymous.

"I didn't do this for any notoriety. I just knew how they would feel if they didn't get that autograph," she said. "I would do anything for kids and this was really a small thing to do."

Small thing to do? No way. It was a gesture I'm guessing those four youngsters will never forget. They got an autograph from a player they obviously admired because of the random act of kindness from a stranger. Those can be life-changing moments.

Liggins knew nothing about what was going on in the back of the store when the woman worked out paying for the autographs.

"That is what this state is about — helping kids out,"?Liggins, a second-round draft pick of the Orlando Magic, said when told what happened. "We have been to several of these places where people could not afford it and showed up and I?gave them free pictures and autographs to show I?was happy they showed up and supported me. If they have no money, I will give them something.

"I want to support kids because I know what that is like. I?have a son myself. I know how kids are. It's a good deal for me to come out and see how the fans support me. But I would not have let those kids left without an autograph, either, if I had known. I truly appreciate what the lady did. I just wish I had known so I could have thanked her, too, because that's very, very special and coming from the background I?did, I can especially appreciate how those kids felt about what she did for them."

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